My Grandmother, Anja

How many are “prisoners of their homes”? What does this mean for the individual? 

What is good old age? Is the facility or your own home better?

My grandmother Anja (born Frilander) was born in 1929 in Mikkeli on Puumala’s Eteissaari and had a stroke three years ago. 

Then his right side was paralyzed. He still lives at home and has only left his home a few times during this time. 

I have been documenting Anja for two years.

When my grandmother got sick, many questions arose. 

How can I help Grandma? Is he recovering? Will he be able to get home from the hospital anymore? 

Does he still have joy in life after illness? 

Fortunately, my mother was able to remain my grandmother’s caregiver alongside her own job. 

This is how my grandmother was allowed to be at home, as she had hoped. 

A struggle began to get help home for my mother’s working days. 

Municipal workers were in a hurry to ask, “Have the medicines been taken?” 

My grandmother didn’t want to be visited just to take a quick look at what the situation was, but to stop, sit, listen, and chat. 

Let’s go outside. 

Let’s be quiet for a moment and watch the birds and squirrels.

I had just had our second child when Grandma had a stroke. 

Life was full of great concern for Grandma’s well-being. The power was scarce, but the idea that Grandma and other the elderly were not treated properly helped her cope and brought the idea of documenting Grandma’s life.

 How can the elderly be treated so badly? They need a lot of help and I think the most important thing is to stop. Ask what is involved, make coffee, talk. Let’s just be quiet for a second. Getting security from another. 

I asked Grandma if it would happen to her to photograph her and bring up these things. Grandma thought the subject was important and I got permission to shoot. I took the camera with me almost every time I was with Grandma. 

For the most part, we just spent time together and the camera was forgotten. The most important thing was to be next door. 

However, I photographed my grandmother for several years and it was already common, that I always took between photos. 

Grandma never denied me taking pictures. I showed the finished pictures to my grandmothers and she jokingly comments that they are “Genuine! There is no hair combed ”.

I have always had a particularly close relationship with my grandparents. I have lived with them for most of my childhood. I remember sleeping small between Grandma and Grandpa. Grandma and I slept with our feet on our feet because Grandpa was snoring and talking so much in her sleep that Grandma probably thought that snoring the other way around wouldn’t hurt. I remember when Grandma read me Evening Tales and asked her to read one more one, Grandma was already running out of water after she had been staring at the book for so long. I remember the mornings when I woke up to the sound of the coffee maker and listened to Grandma and Grandpa talking and laughing in the kitchen. Grandma and Grandpa brought a lot of security, intimacy and love to my childhood.

My grandmother Anja 1, 2019, digital image

My grandmother Anja 2, 2019, digital image

My grandmother Anja 3, 2019, digital image

My grandmother Anja 4, 2019, digital image

My grandmother Anja 5, 2019, digital image